This picture shows the full moon during a "blood moon" eclipse alongside the planet Mars as seen from Siliguri on July 28, 2018. / AFP / DIPTENDU DUTTA
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The longest "blood moon" eclipse this century dazzled skygazers across the globe Friday, coinciding with Mars' closest approach in 15 years in a thrilling celestial spectacle.For about half the world, the moon was partly or fully in Earth's shadow from 1714 to 2328 GMT -- six hours and 14 minutes in all.The period of complete eclipse -- known as "totality", when the moon appears darkest -- lasted from 1930 to 2113 GMT.At the same time, Mars hovered near the moon in the night sky, easily visible to the naked eye.The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth's shadow -- so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse.The moon was also at the farthest point on its orbit from Earth, making its movement across the sky slower from our perspective, thus spending longer in the dark.NASA, meanwhile, called out social media hoaxers claiming that Mars would appear as big as the moon during the eclipse.
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